A/N: Hey peeps! I'm sorry for not updating in a long time! I know I'm a terrible disappointment, but hey, better late than never...?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Chapter 6

After picking at her breakfast, Bella decided to roam around the Manor, exploring all of the rooms and things inside. She even went as far as imaging the stories behind each odd item she saw, like that bronze vase by the stairwell for example. She imagined that a genie was in there, waiting for someone accidentally break it open and release him.

Bella gave a pained cry of surprise when she tripped over a badly placed nail on the wooden floorboards. She looked down on her foot and saw no injuries, on her knee however, was a different story. It hurt when she pressed her palm on it, and she knew from past experiences that a large, black bruise would form there soon enough.

Bella gingerly picked herself up from the floor and slowly, not running, went through the corridor. She wouldn't want to trip again and bruise her other knee. As she passed by a door with its doorknob covered in spider webs, Bella's curiosity peaked. This particular door didn't look too used. She reached a pale hand towards the knob and turned it slowly. It creaked, sending a flinch through Bella's body.

Something told her that she shouldn't be in this room, but she needed to quench her thirst for adventure. She had opened the door. There was no way she could back out now.

She entered the room. Everything was covered with a thick layer of dust, and cobwebs can be seen in every corner, under the bed and on the round mirror – practically everywhere. Bella made her way to the mirror, remembering how she watched her mother prepare for a party in front of one just like it. Picking up a silver brush, Bella raised it gently to her hair, and very carefully, brushed it. She felt beautiful as she watched her reflection in the murky mirror.

Bella didn't know how long she sat there, in front of the mirror, but she was shocked when Mrs. Patterson burst into the room with a frantic look on her face.

"You, girl!" she cried, "You shouldn't be in this room! It is forbidden!" Mrs. Patterson took her upper arm and used it to drag her out of the room. Bella didn't resist. She was focused on the pain Mrs. Patterson's grip was giving her. She was shocked that someone dared to do this to her.

As Mrs. Patterson let go of her and pushed her roughly, Bella whimpered. She stopped her pitiful cries when she noticed that she had bumped into someone. She looked up and saw Alice, her new ayah.

"Don't let her out of your sight," ordered the old lady. Alice seemed to flinch at her tone. "Guess where I've found her? Hm? At the Lady Mistress' room! Lord Masen will have my head if it was he who saw the girl, and not I! Oh dear," she clutched at her heart, "give her something else to do, Alice – anything. Just keep her out of the way."

Mrs. Patterson left the room.

"I'm sorry about that," apologized Alice. She sat down on a chair, and thus revealing the rest of the room, giving Bella a view of it. It looked like a kitchen, with pots, pans, various utensils and workers shuffling about. They don't seem to notice her, which didn't bother Bella at all.

"It's all right," Bella assured the girl, "but what I want to know is…" she sat down on the chair in front of Alice, "…why didn't she want me to be in that room?"

"I –" Alice stumbled, "I don't think I should be talking about it." One look at Bella's wide brown eyes and Alice visibly crumbled. "All right," she whispered. "Don't go telling anyone I told you this, but the room Mrs. Patterson saw you in was the late Lady's room." She told the story of how Lady Masen died from a deadly disease as if it were some sort of secret – something no one else should know, but Alice and Bella.

"I didn't meet the lady myself," Alice said, leaning back on her chair, "but I heard she was a beauty. Kind and caring, too. She always invited the servants to join in the family celebrations – Christmases and Easter and such. Of course, now that she's gone, that never happens anymore. Lord Masen's turned into a recluse, and his son – oh, poor Sir Masen."

"Sir Masen?" Bella repeated, shocked.

Mr. Masen had a son? How come she hasn't seen him around the grounds yet? She would dearly love some company her age, not that Alice wasn't company enough for her. She just happens to be a servant, and Bella knew that servants were always too busy to play games. Unless of course, they were her ayah, but Bella also knew that though Alice said she was her new ayah, she wasn't actually her ayah. She was Mrs. Patterson's servant. One had to be a fool to not see that, and Bella, clearly, wasn't a fool.

"Oh," Alice backtracked, "I shouldn't have said that. Young Sir Masen is a secret, you see. Oh dear, I should stop talking now."

"But Alice," Bella whined, letting her spoiled self surface, "you already mentioned him to me! It'll be cruel to leave me hanging! Please, please, please… tell me!"

"What is that racket!" a booming voice said from the doorway. Both Alice and Bella looked to that direction, and saw Mrs. Patterson with her hair a mess and sweat dribbling down her red face. "Alice," she called the servant girl, "I need your assistance. We need ice and hot water."

Alice hesitated.


And then, Bella was alone in the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.

A/N: Oooh! Mr. Masen (did I get the name right?? o.O) Well, whatever, he has a son!! Whoa, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who that is... xD